The Democratic-lead minority caucus in the Niagara County Legislature would like to cap the tax on local gasoline purchases. We say it's about time. New York State capped the tax on gas at $2.00 per gallon over a year ago. Before the Leg makes such a move, we want to know what the financial impact will be and where that lost revenue will be made up from. As long as it won't be made up in my property taxes, go for it.
The vicious attack of a 12 year-old girl on her way to school in North Tonawanda is a parent's worst nightmare. We're going to go out on a limb and say that the perpetrator is likely someone with previous history of sexual deviancy. Not that it would or wouldn't have made a difference in this case, but it's imperative that parents know who is living in their neighborhood that should potentially be cause for concern. To view all registered sex offenders within one mile of a specific address in Niagara County, simply paste http://www.icrimewatch.net/index.php?AgencyID=54113 into your browser.
With the the decision by George Maziarz to remain in the New York State Senate and not seek the seat of retiring Congressman Tom Reynolds, the field of candidates is sure to get interesting. While the Democratic side looks relatively clear, our money is on David Bellavia of Batavia to get the GOP nod. Bellavia is drumming up serious support, and his record of military service is thought to nullify any advantage that Jon Powers may have as a veteran.
One has to wonder what Gary Parenti was thinking. Parenti was arrested on charges of impaired driving, driving without a license and running a red light. What's mind boggling is what the officers said lead to the arrest- when they first saw Parenti’s Ford Explorer stopped at a red light at 19th Street and Pine Avenue, the driver honked the horn, drove through the red light and was pulled over at 19th and Falls streets. Talk about drawing attention to yourself. Parenti is a longtime Democratic Party operative who lost a bruising battle for a New York State Assembly seat two years ago against incumbent Francine DelMonte.
Since the State Legislature passed legislation three years ago requiring districts to undergo a state comptroller’s audit and to tighten their internal checks and balances, more than 350 schools have been audited. Last year, the state completed 226 audits, including more than two dozen in Western New York. Another 200 audits are under way. Each of the state’s 834 school districts, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services and charter schools is to be audited by 2010. There are some common themes in the state audits released last year:
• 48 percent showed deficiencies in the process to make sure schools spend money appropriately.
• 41 percent found weaknesses in computer security.
• 24 percent found payments to school officials that were not included in their contracts.
• 10 percent found inappropriate payments to officials when they leave a district.
Once again, we have to ask: Where is the public outcry over these findings? If these findings were about the County Leg or a local municipality, there would be calls for public lynchings in the town square. But since the findings focus on the untouchable school districts, this story barely is a blip on the radar.
Lastly, a week after admitting that he had been unfaithful to his wife on multiple occasions, Governor David Paterson made another confession about his past, telling a television interviewer on Monday that he had tried both cocaine and marijuana. All of the sudden Governor Joe Bruno doesn't sound that far fetched.